Tigers start fast, hold on to down Mississippi State

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Before a more than half empty stadium, LSU’s Arden Key finally put away Mississippi State with a sack of quarterback Damian Williams.

“They (the fans) they thought this thing was over early,” said Miles. “Let’s get some food.”

20th ranked LSU scored 14 points in the first quarter, 23 in the first half, then hung to beat Mississippi State 23-20 Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. LSU moved to 2-1 on the season, 1-0 in SEC play.

After missing last week’s game with an ankle injury, Leonard Fournette returned and rushed 28 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. But Fournette fumbled twice, the second one jump started a 14 point fourth quarter for State.

State backup quarterback Damian Williams, who prepped at Rummel, ran one yard for a touchdown with 4:10 to play to cut LSU’s lead 23-13. After Mississippi State recovered an onside kick, Williams hit Fred Ross from 7 yards 40 seconds later to pull the Bulldogs within three.

State had one more possession, but Key’s second sack of the game sealed the win for LSU.

“We have to learn how to finish,” Key told the LSU sports radio network.

LSU had not scored a point in the first quarter all season. But, Danny Etling, making his first start at quarterback for LSU, threw 37 yards for a touchdown to DJ Chark. Fournette ran for touchdowns of 5 and 25 yards as LSU led 20-0 in the second quarter.

Etling completed 19 of 30 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown.

LSU plays at Auburn Saturday. Kickoff is 5 pm.